There is some rot trapping our men in uniform into some regrettable inertia. I can cut a long story short:
Last week I lost myself to the ghetto again, weaving my way into the heart of the slum and its overpopulated business squares.
As I made good of one corner, I shot straight across a group of people singing loud enough to wake up the dead;
Agondwe akalandira ndalama
Agondwe akalandira ndalama
Mutu wawo sugwira ntchito
Thupi lawo limagwidwa shoko
At all cost, the people were feasting on some irresistible manna of ‘entertainment.’
My curiosity powered my limbs in the direction of the noise. In the middle of the group was a man in uniform. He was flat on his back, his head on a mat of vomit, the way the drunk do.
It is however not in the best of natural justice to speculate, so I will not speculate that this man was drunk. We all know that even malaria can get people vomiting.
We can’t even speculate that this man is a real officer. We know of numerous times where people put on uniforms just for the sake of it. Again, even our sisters sometimes go to school, markets or even offices in clothes meant for music divas’ appearance on stage.
But this looked like a real deal officer. And so, from the stories told around the place, this man’s ‘malaria’ is usual, and it gets worse during the week he gets paid. To be precise, the malaria hits him hard on his way out of shacks that sell local distil.
As we watched videos get taken of this man in uniform, we went straight into a search for answers. If this ‘officer’ is just a pretender, why is it taking so long for him to get caught for ‘abusing the uniform?’
It is not wrong to get to do what he likes best, but at least there is need to detach his habit from the uniform and its corresponding honour.
Minutes later, the malaria seemed to have succumbed to the ‘officer’s’ determination to get up and go.
But every time he gathered his hat and other belongings and to try and take off, he landed back right where he began—the floor!
The group cheered him on, rudely so. It reminded of the movies that made my childhood—the moves of the Drunken Master!
It was when Nkolimbo, the Ghetto Minister of Information, fished out from his pocket his battered handset and showed us more videos and pictures of ‘malaria-hit’ officers in uniform:
We learnt that the officers come in many kinds — some are so kind to let people try the officer’s hats and pose for photos.
Some officer was caught on camera slumped to the ground under the heavy weight of the ‘plasmodium’.
And in one video, a man in uniform was so tired and sick from malaria he had to be helped out of a group’s mockery by some ‘Samaritan in a suit.’
Republicans, what if we all drunk in our uniforms?n